Retail Consumers Adopt New Technology

The 2018 Synchrony Digital Study uncovers the evolving landscape of digital shopping and payments.

There are 4 key takeaways from the study:

1. Consumers are increasing their purchases through mobile apps, and as a result, many retailers have placed a great deal of focus on this technology. Our 2018 Digital Study revealed that consumers are using double the number of retail mobile apps versus a year ago (4 versus 2), and their purchase activity through these apps have increased. Many retailers are responding to this trend—47 percent said they have placed a significant focus on retailer apps, according to a recent Synchrony Retailer Survey.† An outcome of this focus is happy customers—83 percent of consumers said they are happy with the experience of their retail app. This is a sign that consumers will increase shopping using retail apps in the future. For help, retailers can reach out to companies like GPShopper - a Synchrony Solution and mobile app platform that drives customer engagement and loyalty.

2. Most shoppers think mobile wallets will replace physical ones by the year 2025
. Sixty percent of U.S. consumers believe that by the year 2025, the average shopper w
ill carry their phone and no physical wallet. Even though consumer adoption of mobile wallets has been slower than expected, many consumers are becoming used to the idea that paying through the smartphone is inevitable. Who is leading the trend? Yes, it’s the Millennials. Surprisingly, older Millennials (not younger ones) are the age group most comfortable with only carrying their smart phone. Sixty-one percent of older Millennials are ready to leave their wallets at home right now, while only 42 percent of the general population are ready to make the switch.

For retailers who have not thought about enabling mobile wallet acceptance, now is the time to start making plans. Our Retail Survey† showed that most large retailers ($100M+ in sales) have implemented mobile wallet technology (75 percent), yet only about half of smaller retailers ($10M or less) have done so. A future of digital payments is approaching. Smaller retailers are well advised to put plans in place to accept a digital wallet in the future.

3. Consumers feel very positive about credit card features within the retailer app
. Fifty-thr
ee percent of consumers said they have card servicing features with the app. Of this group, 77 percent rated the features extremely/very valuable. As a result, retailers are quickly including payment features in their apps, and forward-looking companies are enabling these features.  

Synchrony has placed a great deal of focus on this technology with the Synchrony Plug-In (SyPi). SyPi seamlessly inserts the credit experiences into the branded retail host app for retail clients. Features include advanced authentication and touch-id, as well as seamless credit features (e.g., pre-loaded account snapshot, ability to make, edit payments, etc.). Click here for details of this technology.

4. Smart speaker adoption has doubled since 2017
. One
in five consumers now say they own a smart speaker. Consumers aged 50 and under are driving usage, but all age groups showed significant growth since last year’s study. Smart speakers are still primarily used to answer routine search requests, but there is great potential for increased usage in shopping, purchasing and customer service.

Synchrony has teamed with Amazon to allow customers to manage their Amazon store cards through voice command using Store Card skill for Amazon Alexa. And there are plans in place to expand the rollout of voice payment technology across its suite of retail cards in the future. See here for more information.



For more insights from Synchrony, click here.

†Synchrony Retailer Survey conducted May 2018. Responders included 266 retail executives at Director level and above. 

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